I wrote this article with a radically new idea what is the function of the sense of humor.

I sent my article to one journal. They said they won't publish because they publish only experimentally verifiable results.

In my article I propose several brain experiments, but they may provide only circumstantial evidence for my theory.

Also my cites list may be outdated.

I am not a psychology professional. Can this article nevertheless be published in a reputable psychology journal?

  • 6
    I notice your experiments are firmly rooted in the unproven (but widespread) assumption that brain activities are the best indicator of mental functions. You go even further out on a limb by assuming that laughing gas must be related to a sense of humor. By the same logic, we could study grief using tear gas. Do you see the absurdity of that? Consider this comment as a peer review by a fellow non-psychology-professional. – Wildcard May 30 '18 at 5:12
  • 3
    I have never read a published full research article this short. Even short communications are longer than what you have written. So even without judging the content (which to this non-psychologist seems unconvincing and lacking a logical argumentation) I can say that this manuscript will not be published by a serious journal. – Roland May 30 '18 at 5:51
  • 1
    You should take a look at psych.se. this question is probably not a great fit there, but some of your related questions might be. – StrongBad May 30 '18 at 13:40

I am not a psychology professional. Can this article nevertheless be published in a reputable psychology journal?

In principle yes, anyone with scientifically valid results may publish them. Many reviews are "double-blind" for exactly this reason.

In practice, the learning curve is steep, and it is rare that someone outside the community can even judge the merit of scientific work, let alone produce publishable work.

They said they won't publish because they publish only experimentally verifiable results.

Though some very well-reasoned ideas may be accepted by simply being verifiable, for a radical new idea, you really need some proof. I doubt anyone will publish your work unless you run one of those experiments and get proof for your theory.

| improve this answer | |
  • 4
    BTW, I tried to give a neutral answer to your direct questions rather than commenting on the "content of research." But lest I be misunderstood, let me be clear that I am not recommending you put more time into this. I do not think your article is close to publishable, and you would do better to pursue other activities. Just my 2c, psychology is not my field. Peace! – cag51 May 30 '18 at 0:12
  • Relativity theory (at least general relativity) was a radically new idea, but it was published before experimentally proved. – porton May 30 '18 at 0:30
  • 3
    @porton there were strong theoretical reasons for believing relativity. Theoretical reasons still must give way to experimental evidence of course, but they provide justification for conducting the experiment in the first place. – Allure May 30 '18 at 3:59
  • 1
    @porton I suggest you read Einstein's original paper. If you can write something in this league, you have an actual chance of getting it published. Note that Einstein worked on his theory for years. – Roland May 30 '18 at 5:59
  • 2
    @porton Following that old quote, they laughed at Galileo, and they laughed at Einstein. But they also laughed at Bozo the clown. Having something in common with Einstein does not mean you are the next Einstein. – knzhou May 30 '18 at 7:34

There is one piece of "meta-advice" I have for everyone whose goal is to publish in some journal: read it, a lot. You will learn for yourself what they will publish. For example, what the readers and reviewers of that journal expect in terms of result validation, what kind of jargon they use, and everything else that will help you understand where your work fits in. Then you can answer your own question about whether your manuscript is appropriate and developed enough to be published there (and know how to build from there to make it publishable).

This is really the main impediment in my view for "outsiders" who want to publish in a journal. Read and know the field as covered in that journal, and you cease to be an outsider. There will always be (unfair and wrong) biases of course, because this is a system of humans, but they are limited as the journal quality suffers from them.

I realize this seems like a lot of work, but look at it from their perspective. Publishing (and even reading) your manuscript will take precious time that might have been devoted to some other manuscript. You may perform this research and reading/writing as a fun past-time, but they do it as a job in which they probably never have enough time to do everything they want to.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.